For those critics who have accused Sooraj Pancholi of being ‘wooden’ in Hero, here’s the quiet debutant’s befitting reply.
“I wasn’t born when it happened. But didn’t the critics back then call Jackie uncle wooden in Hero? In fact, I am told the reviews for Subhash Ghai Saab’s Hero in 1983 were pretty unflattering,” Sooraj takes us back to the whole ethos of nostalgia worship in the entertainment business.
“Everybody in this country worships the past. The old Devdas by director Bimal Roy would remain a classic until someone else does another version of the story. Then, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas would also be considered a classic. I guess we will have to wait for another version of Hero before we’re treated kindly,” says Sooraj with scathing sardonicism.
Valiantly defending his performance, Sooraj Pancholi says, “My character is inhibited and highly complexed. How do we know what kind of a past he had? The chap I played is introverted. I couldn’t have played him as loud and demonstrative.”
Sooraj jumps to his director’s defense. “Nikhil Sir (Advani) had set out to film, a 1980s blockbuster, as a launch vehicle for me and Athiya. It was a job assigned to him. And, according to me, he did his job very well. I couldn’t have hoped for a better launch.”